Watch For Standing Water To Avoid A New Haven Auto Accident

March 7, 2024
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It’s not a surprise that our area has been soaked with rain over the last few weeks and there is certainly more to come as the Spring weather is just beginning. Some people may assume that rain is safer to drive in then snow is and in some cases that may be true, but there is one particular hazard that rain causes that is not caused by any other weather situation and that is standing water.

Standing water or large puddles can become a serious road hazard which may lead to a New Haven auto accident if you are not careful when you approach them. The good news is, they are not the type of weather condition that is likely to sneak up on you or get progressively worse. In most cases standing water is easy to spot and to avoid so it is one of the simpler hazards to avoid when you’re driving through the Elm City.

While standing water can be easy to spot and reasonably easy to avoid, it is important to understand the dangers of it and why you would want to steer clear of it. Knowing the risks that standing water presents to you and your vehicle can be the difference between getting stuck, stranded or even worse, getting into an accident with another vehicle who has decided against warnings to cross over the standing water like you did. This can be devastating and cause serious property damage and even injuries to you or your passengers as you traverse the dangerous conditions.

Before we cover what you should do in the event that you come up on standing water, let’s talk about why it is so dangerous and could cause damage to your vehicle or an accident that would result in an injury to you or a passenger.

1.) Hydroplaning. You may associate hydroplaning with driving fast on the highway when rain is coming down heavily and this is also a situation where hydroplaning can occur, but truth be told, hydroplaning can happen through standing water as well. When hydroplaning occurs, your tires lose traction with the road and this can lead to spinning out or a loss of control of your vehicle which could lead to a collision. Keep in mind that for hydroplaning to occur the amount of standing water does not have to be significant. Even a small, seemingly insignificant puddle could cause you to lose control of your vehicle so you should approach any standing water with caution.

2.) When you’re passing through a significant amount of standing water it can cause a spray that is so significant that it impacts your ability to see the road in front of you and react to potential hazards in a timely manner. This can also be true if you are following another vehicle through the standing water and the spray that they cause affects your visibility and causes you to lose control of your vehicle or not be able to react in time to something that is just ahead of you.

3.) Non-weather related hazards also exist when standing water comes into play. Puddles and deep pockets of water can hide road hazards that you may not be able to see like potholes and debris. If you cannot see these things they can cause significant damage to you and your vehicle and they can also create chaos among other vehicles on the road which may cause you to get into an accident and create property damage or an injury. Potholes and debris are so prevalent this time of the year after storms and cold have created havoc on our roads. It is important to be alert to avoid coming in contact with these hazards while you are driving.

There are a variety of reasons that standing water can interfere with your ability to drive safely throughout New Haven. You may want to take some steps to avoid interacting with this road hazard altogether. The best thing you can do is find an alternate route. This can be a hassle as it will slow you down getting to your destination, but it also may save you from driving through this type of road hazard and getting injured or damaging your vehicle or someone else’s vehicle because you chose not to avoid the standing water. If you must drive through the standing water you will want to drive slowly to avoid any hydroplaning (1-2 MPH is a recommended speed) and you will want to avoid any sudden braking as this could cause you to lose control of your vehicle and put you in an unsafe position.

Whether you’re able to avoid standing water all together or must pass through it slowly, you may find yourself in a difficult situation that could lead to a New Haven auto accident. If this is the case you will want to find a safe place to pull over and speak with the person who you got into an accident with so you can make sure everyone is free from injury and then you can exchange information. You will want to document the scene of the accident and file a police report where necessary.

Injuries from these types of accidents can become severe as can property damage so you may need assistance in sorting through your situation. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will work with you to review your situation and protect your long-term interests.